What One Mexican who Trump Might Assume is “good people” Thinks and Hopes for this Country
I’m one of millions of Mexicans living the United States who Donald Trump might assume is “good people”. I’m not the criminal, the rapist or the drug dealer he says many Mexican people are. I did not cross the border by foot but arrived by plane to Seattle, a welcoming city I now call home. I was born in Mexico City into a family, which unlike many others, always had the means to live a comfortable life. We travelled to and lived in other countries and we focused on the future since we intuitively knew we would never do without three meals per day. I was very fortunate to live a good life in a country that gives few opportunities to even fewer people, but just like millions of Mexicans who left loved ones behind, I now call the United States my home.
I admit before I lived here, I didn’t think I had much in common with those who risked their life walking through the unforgiving heat of the Arizona desert. I admit I didn’t spare a thought to people who felt that living in the shadows, in fear of being deported, was preferable to living the in the daylight of misery and despair. I admit I couldn’t identify with people I had probably been oblivious to, who I never noticed had left Mexico, and who now remind me every day of our common humanity.
I admit I was wrong.
I moved to the United States eleven years ago and I’ve met many people who I share common roots with even if our branches spread differently. We speak the same language and can recognize which part of Mexico we’re from based on our accent. We dance to the same music when we’re happy and we cry to the same songs when we’re sad. We suffer equally when we watch the Mexican soccer team play, we long for the people we left behind and we yearn to someday go back. Whenever possible, we lend each other a helping hand and when we first meet, we ask each other how we got here and if we’d go back.
One of the greatest gifts migrating to the United States has given us is the possibility to recognize and acknowledge each other. To be able to provide our children many of the same opportunities and allow them to be peers instead of the strangers they would’ve been back in Mexico. To have the chance, despite our differences, to look at each other in the eye and say “mi amigo”.
And thus it pains me to see my new friends and me scapegoated for political gain. It offends me to hear a politician spew out fallacies in order to gain applause. It worries me to realize many people actually seem to believe Mexicans are synonymous to crime and deviancy. I am not naïve or disingenuous to ignore or avoid the truths that fuel these exaggerations. Many of us do not return because we fear the violence and crime that exists and Mexican cartels do control the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. Rape is an affront to our humanity, we shouldn’t trivialize it and it should not be used to define us. Mexicans are not sexual deviants nor do we prey on the helpless.
Whilst it is true that these and other acts are committed by Mexicans, they are not exclusive to any group in particular nor should they be used to broadly and irresponsibly define an entire people. It would be equally irresponsible for me to single out a race, creed or nationality for the pain medication epidemic or mass shootings which plague the United States.
In a time when politicians seem to thrive in intellectual laziness for the sake of political expediency, I’d much prefer to remember what Martin Luther King said on August 28th, 1963 in front of 250,000 people at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character”.
I’m only one of millions of Mexicans who Trump might assume is a good person and this is what I think and hope for this country.
That my family and I and my new found friends are not singled out negatively because we or our parents came from Mexico. That we’re not demonized due to the crimes committed by others who were born there and if we are to be judged, may it be due to the nature of our individual deeds and the content of our character.